Craig Lewis, a US based Australian filmmaker and traveller, will be running a project that explores the reasons behind people’s disdain towards 2016.
Named Yule-ogy 2016, the project will have Lewis sitting in front of a fire for three days, transcribing people’s farewell messages to 2016 and throwing them on the fire in exchange for a donation to charity.
The event will be live streamed on Youtube and modelled on the traditional Yule Log videos that people (particularly in the US) play on TV screens around Christmas. Users will be asked to send messages to Lewis following the format “RIP 2016, F*ck you for…” followed by their message and name.
Said Lewis, “I’m one of many who feel that 2016 has been a uniquely disastrous year. For some the disasters lie in the loss of greats like Bowie and Ali, for others it’s the rise of nationalism and crises like Syria, and for some it’s just become a bit of a running joke where the year is blamed on all sorts of trivial things like the Mannequin Challenge, or even a bad haircut they’ve received.
My aim with Yule-ogy is to explore and uncover the variety of reasons behind the shared negativity, and to give people the ability to purge those feelings to start fresh in 2017, and to help others do the same by way of a charitable donation.”
Donations from the project will be passed on to Wale Wale Kenya – a charity of great personal importance to Lewis that provides opportunities to the youth of Kibera Kenya – East Africa’s largest slum.
“In 2015 I volunteered at the Wale Wale youth centre in Kenya and saw first hand the daily struggles that this community go through. While this year has been a challenge for many in the West, the reality is, every year is a challenge for the people in Kibera.”
If the project is a success, Lewis plans to bring it back in 2017 with the hope of greater positivity. “My hope is that the negativity surrounding 2016 is not repeated in 2017 and that we can make Yule-ogy 2017 a tribute to a more positive year.”